Shopping the MSGM Showroom with Our Buyers
Milan is a long way from the Pacific Northwest, but MSGM creative director Massimo Giorgetti totally “went there” for fall ’17. Based on Twin Peaks (which took place in the aforementioned grunge-adjacent neck of the woods), next season’s collection is dark and moody—but shot through with acid tones, floral details and college references that tie into the iconic show and movies.
All images by Jessa Carter
About six seasons ago, Nordstrom was the first American retailer to pick up the ruffled, sporty line, and vice president of women’s merchandise Laura Janney and via C buyer Joyce Lin have been loving the brand’s novelty factor ever since. From feminine dresses to bright sweatshirts they run the gamut, and, no matter what, the vibe is always more color, more patches, more stripes, more flair.
Given this collection’s glammed-up yet psuedo-serious ’90s vibe, Sunday morning’s Paris Fashion Week challenge is already pretty tricky. How to choose from all those statement-making tops and all that bold attitude? And because they already selected lots of looks from Massimo’s pre-collection, which was shown to buyers a few months ago and will arrive in stores ahead of regular-season looks, their job is even harder. Joyce needs to take in about 100 silhouettes and even more fabrication options, but she can only pick 10 pieces for our stores and online.
Designers tend to create smaller stories within each overall collection; they’re often color- or textile-based. As in other showrooms, each story from the MSGM collection is on its own rack (a few are on mannequins) and the racks line the walls of the room. Joyce’s showroom strategy is to go through the racks one by one and flag all the pieces she has emotional reactions to. Then, the MSGM team gives those looks to showroom models for some real-girl context. Joyce photographs all the options with her iPad and then sits down to review them and start editing.
“I feel like we need this jean,” says Joyce, and Laura agrees. A midi-length dress feels necessary, too, and then one of the intarsia knits with a rose motif. Laura and Joyce tell me that our shoppers love both the romantic looks and the weekend-ready vibes. Bringing those together for our edit is both a little tricky and totally effortless. They mostly just go with their guts.
Eventually a tonal, textural tale of our own emerges; deep yellows and stop-sign red with lots of fun, fuzzy textures. In the end it’s probably pretty similar to what MSGM’s creative head was going after: equal parts Italian drama and mysterious small-town charm.
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